Skip to main content

Best Practices and Solutions for Securing Your Website Forms

Jim Engine

In today's digital landscape, website owners face a growing challenge - protecting their website forms from bots and malicious users. Whether it's a login form, registration form or newsletter sign-up, these entry points can be vulnerable to fraudulent activity. Fortunately, there are effective strategies to safeguard your website forms and ensure the legitimacy of user interactions. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore strategies and best practices to enhance your website's security and introduce you to a few existing solutions that might simplify the process.

Verify Email Addresses

One of the first steps to protect your website forms is to verify the authenticity of the email addresses provided by users. Fake or disposable email addresses can lead to spam, fraudulent accounts, and other security risks. In addition, it will very likely increase costs and decrease sales. To combat this issue, consider implementing email verification.

Disposable Email Addresses (Definition)

A disposable email address is a temporary, often anonymous, email address that can be used to receive email without revealing your personal or permanent email address. They are typically used to sign up for online services and newsletters without revealing personal information, and are usually used for 10 minutes or less. They are very bad for website owners, as long-term communication is not possible.

Disposable Email Addresses (Be cautious)

Disposable email addresses are your worst enemy when it comes to getting people to subscribe to your newsletter. Subscribers may appear genuine when they confirm their email address, but they are often using disposable email addresses. This means that they receive the initial reward for signing up, but then become unreachable, resulting in your newsletters being sent to inactive or non-existent accounts and never generating a sale.

Step 1: Programmatic Email Address Validation

In your quest to protect your website forms from bots and malicious users, the first line of defence starts with proactively identifying disposable and non-existent email addresses. Not only will this increase the security of your website, it will also reduce operational costs and protect your reputation as an email sender, which is essential for other users to receive your emails and not have them sent to their spam folders.

Why Programmatic Validation Matters

Programmatically checking email addresses before they even reach your database is a strategic move that pays dividends in multiple ways. It:

- Saves Costs: Every email sent to a non-existent address is not only a missed opportunity but also an unnecessary expenditure. By identifying invalid email addresses upfront, you can significantly reduce costs associated with undeliverable messages.

-Preserves Sender Reputation: Consistently sending emails to non-existent addresses can damage your email sender reputation, affecting your ability to reach your audience's inboxes. After some time your emails might be sent to their spam folders and will never reach your audience. Programmatic validation mitigates this risk.

User-Friendly Warning: It's not uncommon for users to inadvertently input disposable email addresses or make typos. When your website detects such addresses, you can proactively warn users to provide a valid, existing email address. This not only improves user experience but also sets the stage for future engagement. In addition, most fraudulent users will already give up here and move to another website for their malicious actvities.

Step 2: Email Confirmation for Genuine Users

Now that you've filtered out disposable and invalid email addresses, it's time to strengthen the legitimacy of user accounts by implementing a robust email confirmation process. This step not only strengthens security, but also paves the way for greater user engagement, which can lead to increased revenue and GDPR compliance through consent.

The Power of Email Confirmation

Upon user registration or newsletter sign-up, initiate a confirmation process by sending users an email containing a clickable verification button. This simple yet effective step accomplishes several objectives:

- User Verification: Legitimate users will eagerly confirm their email addresses by clicking the verification button. This action provides strong evidence of their authenticity (but only if the disposable email check has already been successful).

- Increased Engagement: Users who confirm their email addresses are more likely to engage with your emails, including marketing messages. This engagement can lead to increased sales opportunities.

- GDPR Compliance Through Consent: The confirmation process complies with GDPR regulations by obtaining explicit consent from users. By voluntarily confirming their email address, they are providing clear consent for future communications, ensuring your compliance with data protection laws.

Integrate a CAPTCHA challenge

To prevent bots and automated scripts from submitting forms on your website, it's important to include a CAPTCHA.

CAPTCHA (Definition)

CAPTCHA is an abbreviation for "Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart". CAPTCHAs present users with tests or puzzles that are easy for humans to solve, but difficult for bots. This step adds an extra layer of security to your forms.

However, not all CAPTCHA solutions are created equal. Many of the options available are also difficult for users to solve and will reduce the user experience. In addition, most CAPTCHA solutions available may not be fully compliant with GDPR regulations. Popular CAPTCHA tools include Google's reCAPTCHA, which requires you to find and highlight an object in an image. Another example is hCAPTCHA, which requires you to perform the same task. However, neither is fully GDPR compliant, and both rely on cookies, which users don't like and making GDPR compliance a little more difficult. Finding an all-in-one solution for both email verification and CAPTCHA currently only exists with Zencaptcha, which is indeed GDPR compliant and does not rely on cookies, meaning website owners do not have to show a cookie banner for using Zencaptcha.

Zencaptcha is the all-in-one solution that simplifies the process of protecting your website forms. Zencaptcha is not just a CAPTCHA service; it's a fully GDPR compliant platform that combines email verification and CAPTCHA in a seamless and user-friendly way.

With Zencaptcha, you can:

- Detect Disposable and Fake Email Addresses: Zencaptcha's advanced algorithms can identify disposable and fake email addresses, ensuring that only genuine users access your website.

- Block Bots and Automated Scripts: Zencaptcha's CAPTCHA challenges effectively deter bots and automated scripts, safeguarding your forms against fraudulent submissions without decreasing user experience.

-Streamline User Verification: By combining email confirmation and CAPTCHA, Zencaptcha streamlines the user verification process, making it easy for legitimate users to complete the required steps.

-Maintain GDPR Compliance: Zencaptcha takes data protection seriously and complies with GDPR guidelines, so you can protect your users' information while remaining compliant.

Incorporating Zencaptcha into your website forms not only enhances security but also creates a more seamless and trustworthy user experience.


Protecting your website forms from bots and malicious users is critical to maintaining the integrity of your online platform. By implementing email verification and CAPTCHA, you can significantly reduce the risk of fraudulent activity. While there are various solutions available, finding one that is both GDPR compliant and combines email verification with CAPTCHA can be challenging.

Zencaptcha could be the solution you're looking for, as it secures your website forms and provides your users with a safe and reliable online experience, while remaining GDPR compliant and without relying on cookies.

Take the first step toward enhanced website security and try today for free. It's easy to install and the performance, compliance and security of your website will thank you.